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'Robby’s class is worth admission to IU alone'

By Matt Bloom, additional videography by Lena Morris

May 15, 2014

For the IU students in Robby Benson’s filmmaking seminars, more than nine months of production led to an evening of film premieres at the IU Cinema.

Benson, a a film and television industry veteran actor, director, producer and educator, joined the IU Department of Telecommunications in the fall of 2013 to teach two new film seminars. Benson is known for his work on more than 30 feature films and Broadway productions. 

On May 7, hundreds of students and community members relaxed in the theater’s soft red seats to watch the final cuts of 13 short films. 

Nathan Erdel, a recent graduate of IU’s telecommunications program, started making films after studying abroad in London. He is a self-described “horror nerd” whose passion for filmmaking led him to apply for Benson’s short-film production seminar, T452. He wrote, produced and directed his short film "Unwelcome," which tells the story of a couple haunted by a woman who lives in the walls of their new home. 

“This year has been the most challenging and rewarding year of my college career,” said senior Nathan Erdel. “Robby’s class is worth admission to IU alone.” 

In addition to teaching a topical seminar on short films, Benson also taught a seminar through which students produced a web series that will be posted on YouTube later this year. 

“They’ll walk out of the theater -- whether it went well or even if it doesn’t go well -- feeling they truly accomplished something,” Benson said. “But they’ll also remember the little things, and its those little things that make you a great filmmaker.” 

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